UK asks for information two years after Salisbury poisoning

Police appeal for more information about chemical weapons attack that nearly killed double agent Sergei Skripal in 2018.

Sergei Skripal
Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were discovered unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in Salisbury, southern England [Rex Features]

British counterterrorism police have appealed for more information about a chemical weapons attack that nearly killed Russian-born double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter two years ago.

What you need to know

Britain blames the 2018 attack on two Russian security service officers who allegedly entered the United Kingdom using false passports and poisoned Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

The Skripals spent days in a coma before recovering but resident Dawn Sturgess died after picking up a discarded perfume bottle that was allegedly used to carry the Soviet-designed agent novichok that poisoned the father and daughter.

Russia denies being behind the attack, but the incident resulted in the largest ever expulsion of diplomats between Western powers and Russia.

What does the UK want?

UK counterterrorism police said late on Sunday that the two Russians who entered Britain using the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov were still wanted. But they said they could not piece together the full timeline of the attack.

“We continue to urge anyone who has information that they have not yet passed to police to do so,” they said in a statement. “In particular, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the counterfeit Nina Ricci perfume box or bottle that was recovered from Charlie Rowley’s address in July 2018.”

How did we get here?

Skripal was one of several suspected double agents involved in a spy swap that saw the United States return suspected spy Anna Chapman to Russia in 2010.

The New York Times said Skripal probably angered the Kremlin by continuing to provide information about Russian operations to Western security agencies after his return to Britain.

Source: AFP